Opinions Nov. 16, 2012

November 16, 2012
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Indiana Court of Appeals
Marybeth Lebo v. State of Indiana
Criminal. Affirms trial court’s judgment in denying motion to dismiss charges of failure to report child abuse or neglect. Lebo argued the charges were not permissible because they came after the statute of limitations had passed but the COA disagreed, finding the Legislature’s intent was to make the failure to report a continuing offense. Otherwise, the court stated, the duty to report would be limited to the day on which the individual comes to believe abuse is taking place.

The Marling Family Trust v. Allstate Ins. Company
Civil tort/trust. Reverses the trial court grant of summary judgment in favor of Allstate and remands to determine whether the loss is covered under an insurance policy. The trust purchased a house at sheriff’s sale after a foreclosure but had established an equitable lien in policy proceeds under an existing homeowner’s policy and therefore was entitled to receive funds from the policy in the event of an insured loss, the appellate court held.

Kohl's Indiana, L.P. and Kohl's Dept. Store, Inc. v. Dennis Owens, et al.
Civil plenary. Affirms trial court grant of summary judgment in favor of the Evansville-Vanderburgh County Area Plan Commission and the Board of Commissioners of Vanderburgh County, holding that neither body accepted a common obligation to complete the project to build a Kohl’s department store on the west side of Evansville, and that Kohl’s cannot recover on a theory implied in law because a contract with the Board of Commissioners required Kohl’s to complete public infrastructure improvements at its expense.

Sharmain J. Smith v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction of illegal possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.

Roosevelt D. Brooks v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Post-conviction relief. Affirms denial of post-conviction relief.

Mattie A. Tedrow and Mary L. Pierson v. Coyeville Belcher as Personal Rep. of the Estate of Everett D. Belcher, Jr.; and Lynn R. Belcher (NFP)
Estate/unsupervised. Affirms trial court decision to uphold the will of Tedrow and Belcher’s father.

William Emry v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms revocation of probation.

BCC Products, Inc. and Roger Brunette, Jr. v. Roger Brunette, Sr., and Pauline Brunette (NFP)
Collections. Affirms trial court decision in favor of defendants.

Albert Lindsey v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms conviction and enhancement of a count of trespassing from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class D felony.

Bernard Simmons v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms six-year sentence for Class C felony criminal confinement.

Jerry Kaiser, Jr. v. State of Indiana (NFP)
Criminal. Affirms convictions of Class B felony dealing methamphetamine and Class D felony possession of methamphetamine.

Michael Ramos v. Robertson's Apartments (NFP)
Small claims. Affirms trial court denial of request for appointment of guardian ad litem and request for damages in excess of the small claims jurisdictional maximum.



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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.